MEET THE TEAM
Limerick native Mary Swanton accepted the position of Executive Director effective January 25, 2021. Mary brings with her a wealth of relevant experience which she has accumulated from her many years of working in Fine Arts, Programming, and Community Development. Well known in the Boston Irish Community, Mary has liaised with all Boston Irish organizations through her work at the Irish Emigrant newspaper and has created many programs and performances for Boston Irish events where she has gained experience in fundraising, development and community partnerships.
Maryann joined the Irish Pastoral Centre in 2017 assisting the Senior Outreach and the Prison Outreach Programs. She currently works as the Immigration Coordinator for the IPC and supports the IPC’s Immigration, Detention, and the US. Citizenship Program. She is the point of contact for both immigrants and non-immigrants in the community who contact the IPC with questions related to immigration, visas, citizenship and other issues of concern. She provides guidance and directs clients to available resources, including the IPC’s free legal clinics where a team of pro-bono attorneys assist clients with understanding and navigating the complexity of immigration law. Maryann graduated from Holy Cross College and Suffolk University Law School. She began her career in the banking industry, and then worked for many years practicing health care law in Boston at both law firms and for various non-profit health care organizations. She also has legal experience working with older clients helping them to navigate issues related to their aging. Maryann's grandparents immigrated to Boston from Counties Cork and Galway in Ireland.
J1 & Events Co-Ordinator
Andrea moved to the US in 2012 as part of a J1 program after graduating St. Angela’s college, Sligo as a Home Economics teacher. Since moving to Boston, Andrea has also earned her Masters in Education from Cambridge College. Having worked in many different settings including teaching middle school in a public school district & starting a small business “Boston Bakeology”, Andrea is joining us to assist all summer and graduate students visiting Boston as part of the J1 program. She also plans and co-ordinates all IPC events across all of our programs!
Health & Wellness Program
Danielle Owen LICSW, LADC-I, is a Licensed Independent Clinical Social Worker who is now available each Monday 6 to 8pm for both in-person and telehealth appointments. The Wexford native has worked with the Irish community offering culturally sensitive counseling & mental health support services in MA since 2004. Perhaps most well known for her work at Rian – formerly known as the Irish International Immigrant Center - Danielle has served immigrants of all nations by providing counseling, case management, and building client capacity to access health and vocational tools to reach their full potential. With a background in supporting adults struggling with mental health, trauma and substance use issues, her recent work has been focused on providing integrated health care; connecting those who live with substance use, trauma and chronic health issues, to find the support and services they require to realize their life goals of emotional stability, wellness and peace.
Health & Wellness Program
From Co.Galway, Gina Gallagher, a behavioral health and addictions specialist, is joining our team as a part-time counselor. Gina has trained in both Ireland and the U.S. and has extensive experience providing culturally sensitive counseling to individuals, couples and groups particularly those impacted by substance use disorders, other addictions and mental health issues. Gina’s services will complement the counseling services offered by social worker Danielle Owen by helping people access community resources and counseling services via telehealth.
Senior Program Coordinator
Peggy is from Weymouth and has joined our team and will be working on Health and wellness referrals and assistance. Peggy has recently retired from the Commonwealth of Massachusetts where she worked in Elder Affairs particularly in health and human services. Holding dual citizenship, Peggy’s parents hail from Rosmuc and Oughterard in County Galway. Peggy will be here on Tuesdays and Thursdays.
Irish Senior Connect Coordinator
Ellen is retired Principal at St. Brendan’s School in Dorchester and long-time volunteer at the Pastoral Centre. Ellen coordinates our weekly Senior phone wellness check in calls.
Fr. Dan Finn
Pastoral Support & Community Outreach
When Father Finn immigrated to America at 18 years of age, from Kanturk, Co. Cork, Ireland, he had no idea that he would one day become a priest, serving the spiritual, social and cultural needs of Dorchester residents from 20 different nations including those from Ireland, Haiti, Vietnam, and Cape Verde. Because of his leadership the services provided by St. Mark Parish, where the Irish Pastoral Centre was founded in 1987, have blossomed into a vast array of outreach programs. Some of these programs include Citizenship and English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL), Youth Summer Program, Faith Sharing groups, a Food Pantry, and more. Much of this has come about from Fr. Finn's philosophy that we must bring what we have started in Church out onto the street. This is summed up best by St. Teresa of Avila says that “Christ has no body now on earth but yours.....". Fr. Dan is assuming the role of Chaplain to the Irish Community at the Irish Pastoral Centre and has, therefore, gone full-circle.
From County Laois, Amy is our Operations Manager. Amy holds a BA in Fine Art from Limerick School of Art and Design and a MA in Graphic design Practice from TUDublin. Amy works on the production and distribution of the Newsletter, manages our social media and salesforce accounts, and provides much needed technical support to all of us in the office. Her previous projects and roles focus on graphics, illustration, logo design, branding & identity, typography and page layout, print production and digital marketing.
Communications & Community Outreach Associate
In September 2023, we welcomed Róisín to the Irish Pastoral Centre. Róisín is from Kilkerrin, Co. Galway and joins us here on a 12 month J-1 Graduate Visa. She holds a Bachelor of Commerce le Gaeilge from University of Galway. Róisín has a grá for all things Irish language and culture. She did her internship with Lorg Media, a social media marketing agency that promotes Irish language, arts and culture. She worked in an Irish bar in Chicago during summer 2022 and hopes to return for a visit while she lives here. Róisín is working as a Communications & Community Outreach Associate with us here at the IPC which she is loving. Please feel free to come to her with any newsletter or social media queries and she will gladly help you out!
Fr. John McCarthy
Pastoral Support & Community Outreach
John McCarthy, a native of county Limerick, studied in Maynooth college
and was ordained for the Diocese of Limerick in 1995. He began his ministry as Dean of St. Munchin’s Diocesan college, and also served as a priest in Limerick City for 10 years. He came to Boston in 2005 to serve as Chaplain to the Irish Pastoral Center. While in Boston, Fr. John attended Boston College and graduated with a master’s degree in Pastoral Ministry & amp; Counselling. He returned to his native Limerick in 2016 to serve as Parish Priest of Dromin/Athlacca Parish with responsibility for three other churches. Fr. John has now returned to Boston as Irish Pastoral Center Chaplain.
Health & Wellness Program
Originally from the Codman Square neighborhood of Dorchester, Patsy graduated from Cardinal Cushing High School and Mass Bay School of Nursing. Patsy is a proud first generation Irish-American, her mother Mary Grealish emigrated from Kilbriken, RosMuc, County Galway and her father was from Kusheeng, Oughterard, County Galway. Patsy is the second of five children and currently lives in Weymouth with her husband John of 39 years and their dog Seamus. A registered nurse for forty years, Patsy worked in geriatric settings and retired from the John Scott House in Braintree. Patsy was delighted to gain her Irish dual citizenship four years ago. She enjoys attending Irish dances and Irish functions and frequently travels to Ireland with her sister. Patsy also loves traveling on cruises. Patsy is delighted to join the IPC as our Community Health Advocate. Patsy will work to build partners, resources and referrals for home care and support.
Ignatian Volunteer Corp
Here at the IPC, we are truly blessed for the services, kindness and friendship that Anne Finn brings to us through our partnership with the Ignatian Volunteer Corp. Anne is from Milton and is a retired Boston Public School teacher and more recently, a per diem Chaplain at Spaulding Rehab Network. She volunteers each Tuesday and Thursday at the Irish Pastoral Centre and is available for bereavement counseling. Those who have attended Senior events may have already met Anne and more will know Anne on the phone as she checks in with many of our community each week.